Home /
Search 🔍
the Site

Chime right in! (no registration req'd)


"Chromating of magnesium racing wheels"

An ongoing discussion from 1999 through 2011 and beyond . . .


Q. Hi

I need to chromate some magnesium racing car wheels but I don't know which chemicals to buy. Can anyone help me?




A. Hi, Tony.

Please look in your yellow pages for "Plating Supplies", or in our Chemicals Directory here for those chemicals. But there is a lot more to chromating a magnesium wheel than dipping it into a vat of chromating solution. For example, do you realize that magnesium is flammable, and the environmental liability for proper disposal of chromate solutions (and rinse water) as hazardous waste? If not, you might be ahead by finding a Jobshop to do this project for you instead. Best of luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. We do aluminum & magnesium finishing.

For chromating magnesium we use a product called Iridite #15.

You do not want to do this yourself. You would need all the other chemicals like mag soap etc.

David A. Kraft
- Long Island City, New York


A. What type of magnesium wheels are they? Are they bbs? And why chrome? Chrome on mags sure wouldn't look good.

johnny nova

Hi, Johnny.

I don't think they are speaking about (bright and shiny) chrome plating, but a corrosion protection treatment called chromate conversion coating.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Need "gold" chromate finish on cast magnesium


RFQ: I have a number of automotive related cast magnesium parts (part of a BMW racing motor). These parts include a manifold casing, valve cover, timing cover and oil pan. These parts all had a gold iridescent finish on them (near as I can describe looks like gold cad plating). I have been told that this is either a Dow 1 dichromate "gold" process or Iridite #15. It is important to get these pieces refinished correctly and unfortunately gold paint doesn't quite work. Looking for someone who both knows what the process is and where I can get it done.

21365-1  21365-2

Mark McClelland
- San Carlos, California, USA

^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
     View Current RFQs

How to clean and remove oxidation from magnesium intake manifold

December 6, 2009

I have an intake manifold that is made out of magnesium that is suffering from some corrosion and oxidation blemishes. Does anyone know the best way to clean raw magnesium without discoloring or ruining the finish? I tried to use lemon juice on an inconspicuous area to see if it worked, but it barely did anything. I contacted Orison Aircraft Company and they didn't have any products that would be able to remove the oxidation and pitting in the finish.

It's quite ugly and annoying...I'd love to get it cleaned off before I put it on my car. Here are pictures of it:

magnesium intake manifold, view 1  magnesium intake manifold, view 2  magnesium intake manifold, view 3

Thanks for all your help and suggestions!

Stew Freeman
Car Buff - Wooster, Ohio

simultaneous December 8, 2009

A. You need to find a shop which can do chromic acid pickle and chromate on magnesium. It's not a back yard job.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

December 9, 2009

A. Try hot(90-100 °C) 25 gm sodium carbonate (washing soda) [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]/25 gm trisodium phosphate/1 lit water solution (5-15 minutes immersion).Rinse well with water and then with pure alcohol or acetone.
Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb,Croatia

April 22, 2011 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi. I operate a small vintage race motorcycle restoration business I hope you may be able to help, I have a few sets of 1970's era cast magnesium motorcycle wheels which need stripping and refinishing do you have a product for chromating magnesium? If so what colour finish does it leave the casting?

Kind regards

Bruce Rigby
motorcycle restoration business - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
     View Current RFQs

Magnesium Finishing
by Dow Chemical Co.
from Abe Books

Affiliate Link
(finishing.com may earn commission)

April 24, 2011

A. Hi, Bruce. We have an article online here that explains the various approaches to magnesium finishing: "Finishing of Magnesium".

Dow's "Magnesium Finishing" handbook =>
is the best reference, but it is out of print and hard to find.

Good luck.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2021 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA